“Expansion in the Works!”
As Shady Oak Distributing builds on more than 56 years in business, it’s anything but business as usual. Headquartered in Hopkins, Minn., Shady Oak is a distributor of Vent-A-Hood products throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and now Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.
Owned and operated by the Guyer family, the company’s expansion into Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska is an endeavor that LeAnne Guyer says the family is excited to undertake.
“We have been distributing Vent-A-Hood products throughout the Upper Midwest region for more than half a century, and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said. “And our recent addition of three states presents an exciting challenge to make our mark in a new territory and forge long-lasting relationships. There are vast amounts of opportunity for increased business and further expansion.”
The company began in Hopkins, MN in 1957 as a small retail appliance store featuring, among other things, Vent-A-Hood range hoods. In 1969, Lee Guyer bought the company, and in 1975 he expanded his reach by starting a new business selling appliances to builders. Sons Hal and Randy joined Lee in the businesses that same year. Lee started another company in 1980 to distribute high-end appliances to appliance stores and kitchen dealers. Lee sold the retail business to Hal and Randy in 1987, and, in 1993, the company was morphed into Shady Oak Distributing to more actively promote Vent-A-Hood sales. Randy’s daughter LeAnne joined the company in 2006, making it a family ownership spanning three generations. As a distributor, Shady Oak supplies and supports a network of local dealers who, in turn, sell to the general public.
According to Randy, much of the family’s success is owed to its philosophy of creating personal relationships with its clients and business partners.
“Years spent on the retail side of the business have provided us with an edge that our competitors simply don’t have,” he said. “We understand what it means to be a retailer and what sellers need in order to be successful in selling our products. Our philosophy is to sell the best while making it easy for our customers to do business with us.”
The Guyers also credit their success to the Woodall family. According to Hal, the loyalty shown by the Woodall family – founders and owners of Vent-A-Hood – is tough to find in modern-day business.
“To Randy, LeAnne and me, working with Vent-A-Hood is like working with family,” Hal said. “We have been, and always will be, grateful for the opportunities that selling Vent-A-Hood has provided. And all we have to do is sell the best – what a deal!”
After more than half a century, the business is still pursuing the next big goal. Thank you, Shady Oak!